Graduate Courses

SM 600. (SOCI680) Pro-Seminar in Criminology. (A) MacDonald.

This course provides an overview of the leading criminological theories of crime. The central focus is on the major theories of crime developed over the past century from the disciplines of economics, psychology, and sociology. The course will focus on the application of social science research as a way to evaluate theories of crime. Special attention is devoted to the issues of measurement of crime and what is known from the available empirical data. In addition, the course will focus on how these theoretical perspectives relate to public policy responses to crime.

SM 601. (SOCI681) Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice. (B) Owens.Prerequisite(s): CRIM 600.

This course examines the scholarship on the causes and consequences of the development of the criminal justice system. The primary focus of the course is on the historical development and contemporary impact of key actors in the criminal justice system, such as the police, courts, and corrections, on society. The course will examine the social and economic effect of criminal justice policies and practices. The course emphasizes evidence from the available social science research in the United States, with some reference to research in other European nations.

602. (CRIM402) Criminal Justice Data Analytics. (C) Ridgeway.

This course covers the tools and techniques to acquire, organize, link and visualize complex data in order to answer questions about crime and the criminal justice system. The course is organized around key questions about police shootings, victimization rates, benchmarking justice system performance, identifying crime hotspots, calculating the cost of crime, and finding out what happens to crime when it rains. On the way to answer these questions, the course will cover topics including data sources, basic programming techniques, SQL, text mining, regular expressions, and geocoding. The course will use R, an open-source, object oriented scripting language with a large set of available add-on packages.

SM 603. Research Methods 2/Crime Analysis. (B) Heller.

This course provides an overview of the application of social science research methods and data analysis to criminology. The course will place an emphasis on diagnostic and analytic tools for the data analysis. Students will learn basic statistical techniques for the analysis of social science data and how to interpret results as part of the rigorous practice of evidence-based Criminology. M.S. Students will perform semester-long, data-based crime analysis project using quantitative analysis to address a specific research question. Student projects culminate with an oral class presentation and the submission of a written thesis.

SM 604. Criminology in Practice. (E) Ridgeway.

In this capstone course speakers from the University of Pennsylvania and other academic institutions and from non-profit research organizations discuss their research, while speakers from government and criminal justice policy and practice settings -the consumer of research- share their insights. Members of the cohort interact with all guest speakers.

634. Evidence-Based Crime Prevention. (A) Heller.

This course considers the use of evidence to identify effective crime prevention policies. The course will teach students to think critically about what constitutes convincing evidence, use benefit-cost analysis in comparing policy alternatives, and write effective policy memos that can translate research into practice. We will develop these skills by studying the effects of different policy approaches to crime prevention including incarceration, policing, gun control, drug regulation, and place-based interventions, as well as education, social programs, and labor market policies. Emphasis will be on the methodological challenges to identifying "what works" and the empirical methods to overcome those challenges.

SM 700. (SOCI700) Advanced Pro-Seminar in Criminology. (A) Staff.

This second year doctoral course is a weekly discussion group designed to help students integrate their coursework from different disciplines around the unifying perspectives of criminology. It focuses on preparation for the doctoral comprehensive examination, detailed critiques of published research reports, and colloquia by leading guest lecturers presenting new research results. Students preparing for dissertation research on the causes and prevention of crime will report on their developing research ideas.

SM 701. Advanced Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice. (B) Staff.

This second year doctoral course is a weekly discussion group designed to help students integrate their coursework from different disciplines around the behavior and operation of criminal law systems. It focuses on preparation for the doctoral comprehensive examination, detailed critiques of published and unpublished research reports, and colloquia by leading guest lecturers presenting new research results. Students preparing for dissertation research on the behavior of criminal law will report on their developing research ideas.

800. Thesis Research Project. (C) Staff.

999. Independent Study and Research. (C) Both terms.

Primarily for advanced students who work with individual faculty upon permission. Intended to go beyond existing graduate courses in the study of specific problems or theories or to provide work opportunities in areas not covered by existing courses.